The manubrium is rather more prominent in some individuals than in others, and the pore immediately under it varies greatly in size.]


By this term I mean that the whole organisation is so connected, that when one part varies, other parts vary; but which of two correlated variations ought to be looked at as the cause and which as the effect, or whether both result from some common cause, we can seldom or never tell. The point of interest for us is that, when fanciers, by the continued selection of slight variations, have largely modified one part, they often unintentionally produce other modifications. For instance, the beak is readily acted on by selection, and, with its increased or diminished length, the tongue increases or diminishes, but not in due proportion; for, in a Barb and Short-faced Tumbler, both of which have very short beaks, the tongue, taking the rock-pigeon as the standard of comparison, was proportionally not shortened enough, whilst in two Carriers and in a Runt the tongue, proportionally with the beak, was not lengthened enough, thus, in a first-rate English Carrier, in which the beak from the tip to the feathered base was exactly thrice as long as in a first-rate Short-faced Tumbler, the tongue was only a little more than twice as long. But the tongue varies in length independently of the beak: thus in a Carrier with a beak 1.2 inch in length, the tongue was .67 in length: whilst in a Runt which equalled the Carrier in length of body and in stretch of wings from tip to tip, the beak was .92 whilst the tongue was .73 of an inch in length, so that the tongue was actually longer than in the carrier with its long beak. The tongue of the Runt was also very broad at the root. Of two Runts, one had its beak longer by .23 of an inch, whilst its tongue was shorter by .14 than in the other.

With the increased or diminished length of the beak the length of the slit forming the external orifice of the nostrils varies, but not in due proportion, for, taking the rock-pigeon as the standard, the orifice in a Short-faced Tumbler was not shortened in due proportion with its very short beak. On the other hand (and this could not have been anticipated), the orifice in three English Carriers, in the Bagadotten Carrier, and in a Runt (pigeon cygne), was longer by above the tenth of an inch than would follow from the length of the beak proportionally with that of the rock-pigeon. In one Carrier the orifice of the nostrils was thrice as long as in the rock- pigeon, though in body and length of beak this bird was not nearly double the size of the rock-pigeon. This greatly increased length of the orifice of the nostrils seems to stand partly in correlation with the enlargement of the wattled skin on the upper mandible and over the nostrils; and this is a character which is selected by fanciers. So again, the broad, naked, and wattled skin round the eyes of Carriers and Barbs is a selected character; and in obvious correlation with this, the eyelids, measured longitudinally, are proportionally more than double the length of those of the rock-pigeon.

The great difference (see figure 27) in the curvature of the lower jaw in the rock-pigeon, the Tumbler, and Bagadotten Carrier, stands in obvious relation to the curvature of the upper jaw, and more especially to the angle formed by the maxillo-jugal arch with the premaxillary bones. But in Carriers, Runts, and Barbs the singular reflexion of the upper margin of the middle part of the lower jaw (see figure 25) is not strictly correlated with the width or divergence (as may be clearly seen in figure 26) of the premaxillary bones, but with the breadth of the horny and soft parts of the upper mandible, which are always overlapped by the edges of the lower mandible.

In Pouters, the elongation of the body is a selected character, and the ribs, as we have seen, have generally become very broad, with the seventh pair furnished with processes; the sacral and caudal vertebrae have been augmented in number; the sternum has likewise increased in length (but not in the depth of the crest) by .4 of an inch more than would follow from the greater bulk of the body in comparison with that of the rock-pigeon.

Charles Darwin

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